[Herbert] has constructed a model of power relationships structured upon gender and age, and derived from male transformative processes, and in so doing has written a notable, and most enjoyable, book. African History
Herbert examines with great care and thoroughness the relationships between gender and power and the rationales that give them social form.... [Her] analytical ability is outstanding. Patrick McNaughton
This book is a well-written and essential study of the place of belief in African material culture. International Journal of African Historical Studies
Herbert relates the beliefs and practices associated with iron working in African cultures to other transformative activitieschiefly investiture, hunting, and pottery makingto propose a gender/age-based theory of power.